VA Rating for Radiculopathy

Getting a VA rating for Radiculopathy can be confusing since it is most likely associated with back pain, and it can be difficult to determine if it is a service-related disability.

Just4Veterans is here to assist veterans who may find it challenging to understand the types of disabilities they are eligible for using our veteran coaches’ extensive expertise in VA disability claims. We offer VA claims coaching and disability rating coaching for veterans to supplement you with the correct knowledge in claiming your benefits, such as your VA disability rating radiculopathy.

Understanding Radiculopathy

But what exactly is Radiculopathy?

Your spine comprises several bones called vertebrae, and your spinal cord passes through a canal in the center of these bones. Nerve roots emerge from the cord and travel between vertebrae to various body parts. Radiculopathy is a condition that refers to the compression or pinching of a nerve root in the spinal column.

It can occur in various locations along the spine, creating nerve pain that affects different areas of the body. Here are its conditions.

  • Back, arm, legs, or shoulder pains that may aggravate with certain activities
  • Loss of reflexes in arms and legs
  • Numbness or other abnormal sensations

It is a common condition among veterans who have undergone some strenuous physical experience during their active duty in the service.

Types of Radiculopathies

Doctors often look at three sections of your back to confirm if you are inflicted with radiculopathy. These sections contain nerves from your nervous system connected to the parts of your body. These areas are:

Cervical radiculopathy

It occurs when a patient or a veteran has a pinched nerve in the neck (cervical spine). Those with cervical radiculopathy can experience mild to extreme pain or numbness across the shoulders and/or from one or two of their arms.

Cervical radiculopathy can restrict movement from the head and cause numbness in the hands, which can affect the ability to lift heavy weights and perform tasks that require tremendous physical labor.

Thoracic Radiculopathy

It refers to a pinched nerve in the middle area of the back. It affects the ribs and chest.

Those with Thoracic Radiculopathy experience pain and numbness around the chest and abdomen caused by a variety of factors, including degenerative changes in the spine, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or trauma affecting even the most mundane tasks such as sitting and standing.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

It is one of the most common radiculopathies found among veterans, occurring when there is a pinched nerve in the lower back. One of the most common types of lumbar radiculopathy is Sciatica, which develops when the sciatica nerve is squeezed or pinched.

The pain, burning, and numbness caused by the sciatic nerve can spread from your rear to your feet on either side of your body. Sciatica patients frequently report dull back pain and the sense of an electrical current zapping their legs.

Bilateral Radiculopathy

It can affect any part of the spine, including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.  Symptoms on both sides of the body may include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness radiating into the arms, chest, abdomen, or legs.

How does the VA rate radiculopathy?

VA disability rating for radiculopathy is rated under diagnostic codes 8510, 8610, and 8710.

Since it comprises the most significant nerves in your body, the Sciatica VA rating can be rated under 8520, 8620, and 8720 diagnostic codes.

The radiculopathy VA disability rating depends on how severe and frequently a veteran experience it.

It is critical to diagnose your condition and supply an accurate measurement of your range of motion to acquire a higher rating. Undiagnosed VA for back pain will most likely help you attain a 10% rating.

Service Connection for Radiculopathy

Your attending physician for radiculopathy will evaluate your range of motion, otherwise known as flexion. It helps your doctor determine your mobility before you feel pain. You will also be assessed for neurological symptoms if you are trying to get a prescription specifically for radiculopathy, requiring you to explain how the numbness and loss of sensation affect your quality of life.

It can also determine your Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores, which can help the VA determine the severity of your injuries.

Once these prescriptions are verified and the doctor confirms you have issues with moving, there is a high chance that you can get a 50% rating or higher.  One of the best examples is from a VA disability rating for lumbar radiculopathy.

Once the VA confirms that the veteran has complete documentation and notes for lumbar radiculopathy, they will grant the veteran at least a VA rating of 80%. Incomplete and undiagnosed conditions, however, can only provide the veteran with at least a 10% VA rating.

It is important for you to document the severity of your symptoms and consult your conditions with a physician for a guaranteed acquisition of a higher VA rating.

Getting Help

Just4Veterans understands the importance of acquiring the correct VA rating to achieve the correct compensation package to support your injuries. You can book a free strategy call to reach our veteran coaches directly. You can also visit our VA claims assistance page for more information.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.